Senior In-Home Care | July 24, 2015
Family caregivers often come to the realization they need help caring for a senior parent or other loved one when they consider their other responsibilities at work and home. However, giving up some of the responsibility to someone else can be difficult. After all, how are you going to find a caregiver who provides the same degree of quality caregiving and devotion that you provide your loved one?
In order to help you make this important decision, Comfort Keepers® has assembled a list of important questions to ask as you interview prospective professional caregiving companies.
If an in-home care provider has been around awhile, you should have no trouble researching their reputation through the Better Business Bureau, local senior service, and healthcare providers, at church, around town, and from friends and family. Well-established providers generally have higher staff retention rates than fledgling organizations and thus offer more experienced, trained caregivers.
This will do more than help you compare services and fees. The quality of the informational materials you receive may indicate the attention an in-home care provider gives to all aspects of its operations. Also ask for references.
Look for agencies that balance experience and training with a person’s innate gift to serve and care for others. No amount of experience makes up for a lack of true compassion.
It is also essential that an agency thoroughly screen and interview candidates. This should include criminal and other background checks, personality assessments (which can identify people who possess caregiving qualities), interviews and reference checks.
Also look for organizations that provide training to candidates who pass the screening process and require that caregivers, once hired, complete ongoing training to maintain and update skills. Make sure the agency you choose has coverage to protect your loved one and your family. The provider should carry professional and general liability insurance, bond its employees, and cover employees with workers’ compensation.
Some agencies, such as Comfort Keepers®, make regular quality assurance calls and visits to make certain caregivers consistently deliver quality care. To further ensure quality care, see that all caregivers are regularly and closely supervised by a qualified company representative.
Through a thorough in-home assessment with you and your loved one, a representative of an in-home care provider can discover needs and help you determine whether the organization can meet them to your satisfaction.
Will you provide a written care plan before you begin at home service?
A written care plan prevents misunderstandings. You can use it for reference when calling the in-home care provider with concerns. To be effective, the plan needs to be developed with your
input and needs to be flexible so it can be updated as your loved one’s needs change.
Reputable in-home care providers will assign a new caregiver when a match does not work out.
Ask how the agency or caregiver will deliver services in the event of a power failure, snow storm or natural disaster. Does the organization provide 24-hour telephone service for handling emergencies during weekends and holidays?
Confirm up front whom to contact—and how—when you experience problems or have questions or requests.